Research Highlights 2019

From cancer medication to antibiotic

Modified cancer drug effective against multi-resistant bacteria

[16.12.2019] Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasingly the source of deadly infections. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig have now modified an approved cancer drug to develop an active agent against multidrug-resistant pathogens. [more...]

Leibniz Prizes for Thorsten Bach and Thomas Neumann

Chemist and informatics scientist receive top German Research Foundation award

[05.12.2019] The German Research Foundation (DFG) has awarded two of the 2020 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizes to scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM): Thorsten Bach, Professor of Organic Chemistry, and Thomas Neumann, Professor of Database Systems. The prizes are presented annually to a maximum of ten researchers and are each worth 2.5 million euro. [more...]

New synthesis approach for soluble silicon clusters

Anticipating silicon solar cells with significantly improved efficiency

[14.11.2019] Theoretical calculations indicate that under certain conditions silicon can endow solar cells with a much higher efficiency. Small silicon clusters may provide a source of accordingly modified silicon. However, to date these clusters have not been accessible in soluble form, a prerequisite for flexible processing. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered a simple synthesis approach. [more...]

Weak spot in pathogenic bacteria

ClpX-ClpP protein complex could be starting point for new antibiotics

[02.10.2019] Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combatting bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of “ammunition” because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. A research team has now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to development of innovative antibiotics which target the degradation process of defective proteins in bacteria. [more...]

Quality control in immune communication

Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system

[20.09.2019] The cells of our immune system constantly communicate with one another by exchanging complex protein molecules. A team led by researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now revealed how dedicated cellular control proteins, referred to as chaperones, detect immature immune signaling proteins and prevent them from leaving the cell. [more...]

EU funding for top-level research at TUM

ERC Starting Grants: Success for seven chemistry, medicine and physics projects

[03.09.2019] The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that seven of its prestigious ERC Starting Grants will be awarded to scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) this year. The subject matter of the projects ranges from new cancer immune therapies to the atomic-level analysis of catalytic reactions. The ERC is also funding three additional projects with Proof-of-Concept Grants. [more...]

Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts

[03.07.2019] An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today. [more...]

Innovative materials with carbon fibres made from algae

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds TUM's Green Carbon Project

[01.07.2019] In combination with native granite or other types of hard rock, carbon fibres make possible all-new construction and building materials. Theoretical calculations show: If the carbon fibres are produced from algae oil, production of the innovative materials extracts more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it sets free. A research project spearheaded by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is to further advance these technologies. [more...]

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry receives honorary title from his Alma Mater

TUM Distinguished Affiliated Professorship for Joachim Frank

[07.06.2019] Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Prof. Joachim Frank was appointed Distinguished Affiliated Professor of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) yesterday. He also gave a ceremonial address and a lecture for students of his alma mater. Frank received his doctorate at TUM in 1970. [more...]

How molecular escorts help prevent cancer

Chaperones keep the tumor suppressor protein p53 in check

[21.05.2019] The anti tumor protein p53 can decide on the life or death of a cell: If it detects damage in the cell's genome, the protein pushes the cell to suicide. New research conducted at Technical University of Munich (TUM) shows that this inborn cancer prevention only works when special proteins, known as chaperones, allow it to take place. [more...]

Efficient catalyst for water splitting

New hybrid semiconductor material for sustainable hydrogen production

[16.05.2019] Chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed an efficient water splitting catalyst as part of a collaborative international research effort. The catalyst comprises a double-helix semiconductor structure encased in carbon nitride. It is perfect for producing hydrogen economically and sustainably. [more...]

Yellow pigments protect bacteria

Biosynthesis of aryl polyene protective pigments elucidated

[08.04.2019] Bacteria protect themselves from free radicals using certain natural products in their membrane. Working groups at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Goethe University in Frankfurt have now mapped the biosynthesis of aryl polyenes, the most common protective pigments. [more...]

Tipping the scales

Labeling proteins with ubiquitin paves new road to cell regulation research

[03.04.2019] Human cells have a sophisticated regulatory system at their disposal: labeling proteins with the small molecule ubiquitin. In a first, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has succeeded in marking proteins with ubiquitin in a targeted manner, in test tubes as well as in living cells. The procedure opens the door to exploring the inner workings of this vital regulatory system. [more...]

Chinese-German research laboratory at the TUM

International cooperation to develop an energy-generating road surface

[08.03.2019] The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Jinan University in China are setting up a joint research laboratory at the Chair for Construction Chemistry at TUM. The aim of the new laboratory is to develop an energy-generating floor and road covering. [more...]

At the limits of detectability

New approach facilitates spectroscopy on individual molecules

[07.03.2019] While spectroscopic measurements are normally averaged over myriad molecules, a new method developed by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) provides precise information about the interaction of individual molecules with their environment. This will accelerate the identification of efficient molecules for future photovoltaic technologies, for example. [more...]

Molecular Lego blocks

Chemical data mining boosts search for new organic semiconductors

[14.02.2019] Organic semiconductors are lightweight, flexible and easy to manufacture. But they often fail to meet expectations regarding efficiency and stability. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are now deploying data mining approaches to identify promising organic compounds for the electronics of the future. [more...]

Protein engineering extends immune cell vocabulary

Evolution of signaling molecules opens door to new sepsis therapy approaches

[23.01.2019] Small infections can be fatal: Millions of people die each year from sepsis, an overreaction of the immune system. A new immune signaling molecule, designed by a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), now provides the basis for potential new approaches in sepsis therapy. [more...]

How dangerous is microplastic?

TUM’s Dr. Natalia Ivleva discusses her research into the analysis of microplastic

[10.01.2019] After early reports of microplastic pollution in our oceans and beaches sounded the alarm, the global scientific community intensified its focus into this area. Researchers have since found evidence of microplastic contamination seemingly everywhere – also in lakes and rivers, beverages and food supplies. Dr. Natalia Ivleva, a researcher with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed new analytical methods for the identification and quantification of microplastic. In this interview, she shares her latest findings. [more...]